Srinagar: The Karvan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), was suspended today while the cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade remained grounded since July 21 when over 60 kg of drugs were recovered from a truck at Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) in Uri.
However, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that she would not allow trade between the two parts to derail, and pitched for opening more trade routes between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK.
The weekly bus has been suspended today between the two sides after a message was received from Pakistan that there is a holiday today in PoK on account of 14th death anniversary of founding President of PoK Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, official sources said.
They said all those who were scheduled to travel in the bus from this side have accordingly been informed.
They will be adjusted in the next bus, they said. The bus service, a major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan after 1999 Kargil War, continued despite unrest in Kashmir in 2016 and tension on the LoC, due to ceasefire violation and subsequent surgical strike by Indian troops in the PoK.
The cross-LoC bus service started on April 7, 2005 despite opposition by militant organisations has helped thousands of families, divided in 1947 due to partition, to meet each other after India and Pakistan agreed to allow travel of State subjects from both sides on travel permits, instead of international passport.
The travel permit is issued to the State subject from both sides of the LoC, only after their names are cleared by the intelligence agencies from India and Pakistan. However, only State subjects from both sides can avail the cross-LoC bus facility.